Authorities revealed on Monday that a 12-year-old under the care of state-run orphanage 'Kudakudhinge Hiyaa' in Vilimale', tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services, the child in question is one of two minors from the orphanage that travelled to Chochi, India, for medical treatment on March 6.
Noting that the 12-year-old has had health complications since birth, the ministry stated that the child requires occasional advanced medical treatment from abroad.
The ministry stated that the minor underwent a quarantine period of 16 days in Kudakudhinge Hiyaa after their return from Cochi on June 30. The state revealed that the COVID-19 test conducted at the end of the child's quarantine period tested negative.
However, following some health issues, authorities arranged for the child to undergo consultation at the Vilimale' Hospital on July 18, upon which the minor was transferred to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on the doctor's suggestion.
IGMH conducted another COVID-19 test on the child on Sunday night, which came back positive. The contact tracing process for the individual is currently ongoing, authorities said.
The ministry assured that relevant authorities are currently working together to implement the necessary precautionary measures in regards to this unexpected case.
In addition, the ministry guaranteed that the steps taken to ensure the safety of the children and staff at Kudakudhinge Hiyaa has been completed as per Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s guidelines.
With this development, Maldives currently records a total of 2967 COVID-19 cases, out of which 575 are active cases. Till date, the country recorded 2,362 recoveries and 15 fatalities.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.
After recording low numbers for several weeks, the recent spike of virus cases has reduced the total amount of recovered patients from 86 to 80 percent.
The number of COVID-19 cases increased after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. Government offices and businesses including shops, cafe's and restaurants restarted services on July 1 while authorities reopened Maldives' borders for tourism on July 15.
On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 14.6 million people and claimed over 609,500 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 8.7 million people have recovered.